Thursday 20 December 2018

Bible Book:

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. (v 2)

Isaiah 9:2-7 Thursday 20 December 2018

Psalm: Psalm 145:1-7


Down the years, the words from today's reading have meant so much to so many people. Isaiah’s generation was beset by conflict and these words of hope for a new child king and peace expressed their deepest longings. For many Christians today the words have a strong association with Advent and Christmas. Some of us could sing much of this passage due to its inclusion in Handel’s ‘Messiah’. Even for those who normally only go to church at Christmas, these verses will have a familiarity due to their inclusion in the Nine Lessons and Carols service.

For Christians, these words have so many links with Jesus, for example, his teaching about peace and "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). It is, therefore, surprising that only verses 1 and 2 from this passage can be found in the New Testament, as the words seem messianic and to look forward to Jesus in so many ways. We might expect to find them quoted at least once. Perhaps our surprise is because of our familiarity with the celebration of Christmas, which as far as we know was not a festival celebrated by the early Christians.

However, the words speak in many other ways too; many of us hear the words "the people who walked in darkness" and easily relate them to our context. Sometimes we simply hear them at the darkest time in the northern hemisphere year and look forward to the lighter days to come. Others will hear the words more metaphorically and think about their own struggles with an inner ‘darkness’. For some these two come together in the form of struggles with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The words though are really addressed to a group and so have resonance when the life of a nation is dark or difficult. Whatever the experience of darkness, this passage from Isaiah gives a message of hope. It is a hope that came to fruition in Jesus and remains a hope that every generation needs to find.


To Ponder:

  • How can we share a message of hope with those who "walk in darkness" today?
  • Spend some time reflecting on how faith in Jesus gives you hope.
Previous Page Wednesday 19 December 2018
Next Page Friday 21 December 2018